MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The status of Icky Banks became murky Saturday when the fifth-year senior cornerback was not dressed for West Virginia’s final preseason scrimmage.
Asked about the whereabouts of Banks, a 12-game starter last season, defensive coordinator Tony Gibson replied, “You’ll have to talk to Coach Holgorsen about that one.”
Dana Holgorsen was not available to the media Saturday, a day designated for interviews with assistant coaches.
Banks also was missing from practice Thursday, at least for the half-hour period to which the media had access. All seemed well as late as Tuesday afternoon when Banks told MetroNews about his enthusiasm for the upcoming season and his relationship with Daryl Worley, a budding star at the opposite corner.
“Daryl’s going to be a great player. I see that and I know the coaches see that,” Banks said. “They’re getting him set up for the future. I’m just trying to win. I’m just doing my part.”
Cornerbacks coach Brian Mitchell also deferred to the head coach regarding Banks, who made two interceptions in 2013, one of which he returned 58 yards for a touchdown in a 30-21 upset of Oklahoma State. He continued running with the starters throughout spring practice and the first week of camp.
In Banks’ absence Saturday, junior Terrell Chestnut spent a second consecutive practice working with the first unit, with senior Travis Bell pushing for playing time.
In discussing depth at the left cornerback spot, Mitchell omitted Banks completely and instead named junior Ricky Rumph and sophomores Nana Kyeremeh and Brandon Napoleon as players capable of cracking the rotation.
“It’s a collective,” Mitchell said. “We’re going to have to do it by committee. We’re not going to just have one guy playing 90 plays a game—we didn’t do that last year. I’m looking forward to getting those three guys in the rotation, and if we can add a fourth or a fifth, we can do that as well.”